TCA stands for trichloroacetic acid and is a chemical form of exfoliation of the skin. It has been used for over 30 years to perform skin rejuvenating chemical peels. TCA can be used in varying strengths for either a mild superficial peel, or a medium depth chemical peel. The medium depth peel will significantly improve dull, weathered skin, pigmentation and freckles, sun damage, fine wrinkles and can improve acne scarring. Medium chemical peels are a good alternative for a person not quite ready for laser resurfacing but wanting a significant rejuvenation.
Advantages of TCA:
- Improve photoaging (age spots and brown spots)
- Speed up cell turnover
- Help stimulate collagen production
- Reduce acne scarring
- Erase fine lines
- Reduce freckles
Having a TCA chemical peel takes 30-60 minutes. There can be noticeable stinging for a few minutes as the TCA is applied which can be controlled by using a cold air stream on the area. Some clients prefer a topical anesthetic applied prior to the procedure. There will be significant redness for several hours after the peel and the skin will begin to feel dry and tight and may feel like you have a sunburn. After 3-5 days, your skin will begin to flake and peel and you may experience some darkening as the pigment rises to the surface of the skin. There should be no open wounds or scabs. The underlying skin will be softer, smoother, and more even in tone and texture. Peeling will normally be completed between the 5th and 10th day.
it will be important for you to wash your face at least two to three times a day with a gentle cleanser, and to apply a moisturizer designed specifically for post peel skin. You should strive to keep your skin relatively moist at all times. The peeling skin is a natural bandage and it is better to leave it on and let it exfoliate naturally then to aggressively attempt to peel it off.
It is critical to wear sunscreen as the rejuventated skin will be much more sensitive to the damaging rays of the sun. This is important even if you are wearing a hat. Recovery time for a medium to deep peel can be one to two weeks. You should be able to wear makeup after the majority of peeling is completed.
Medium chemical peels should last 6 months to two years. If you use good quality skin care products regularly after your chemical peel, you will maximize the duration of the improvement.